HP TouchPad Joins MSFT Kin On Shoals Of Abandoned Products

HP is "[discontinuing] operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones." The company slid this into its press announcement regarding possible purchase of Autonomy Corp (AU.L); with a market cap of $7 billion, it is the second largest pure software company in Europe. The HP TouchPad tablet went on sale on July 1, 2011 and the Veer smartphone earlier in the year. Both run on HP's webOS, which it acquired with Palm in April 2010 for $1.2 billion. HP has discontinued the TouchPad at 49 days. …continue reading →

MSFT + Skype: What Does It Mean To You?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft will announce an $8 billion purchase of Skype as soon as Tuesday.
A deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said, though they cautioned that negotiations aren't yet final and a deal could still fall apart. Including Skype's long-term debt, the total value of the deal is about $8.5 billion.
Gigaom reported at midnight that the $8 billion cash deal was a wrap. Here's the 64-dollar question: now that Microsoft has confirmed that it is buying Skype, will you continue to use the service if Microsoft does buy Skype, would you continue to use the service? …continue reading →

Thinking Portability: The Osborne 1 Is 30 Today

It was early 1984. Apple had just released the Macintosh, but IBM (and its partner/stepchild/competitor Microsoft) had jumped into the nascent personal computer market in mid-1981 with the IBM PC. However, the tried-and-true operating system (or tired-and-old, depending on your point of view) of the day was not DOS but CP/M. Somehow I convinced my then husband-to-be that we should not buy a Mac (shiny!) but an Epson CP/M computer that came bundled with Peachtree Software's office suite: word processing, spreadsheet and database. This was years before Microsoft would release Office for the Mac (1989) or Windows (1990). What I didn't know was that what I thought of as "ease of use" was a direct result of the work done for the Osborne 1, a "portable" computer launched 30 years ago today (April 3, 1981). According to Thom Hogan, who had been Osborne's director of software, the Osborne 1 was the first computer that allowed the buyer to "take the box home, unpack it, plug it in, and start using [the] computer."…continue reading →